Congress is dismayed because they have not been informed of "significant" covert operations being conducted by US intelligence agencies.
The Committee was dismayed at a recent incident wherein the Intelligence Community failed to inform the Congress of a significant covert action activity. This failure to notify Congress constitutes a violation of the National Security Act of 1947.Scrupulous transparency between the Congress and executive branch intelligence agencies? In what country do these people think they're living? I'm sure they must think that Iran-Contra was an inadvertent oversight.
Despite agency explanations that the failure was inadvertent, the Committee is deeply troubled over the fact that such an oversight could occur, whether intentionally or inadvertently.
The Committee firmly believes that scrupulous transparency between the Intelligence Community and this Committee is an absolute necessity on matters related to covert action.
In further developments, Congress is also considering requested changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the law Bush has been inadvertently ignoring for several years now. Speaking volumes about the times in which we find ourselves, the House Intelligence Committee has attached a request to potential changes to the FISA:
Before the Committee will support any change to existing law, it is essential that the President provide some measure of assurance that were he to sign a bill modifying FISA into law, he would agree to be bound by it.While this might indicate that Congress has some inkling that Bush will ignore any law when it suits him, which he has, observing this bizarre constitutional chicken dance is truly disturbing. Bush has proposed changes to FISA, which Congress will enact if only he will agree to be bound by the new law as he has requested it. This is the state of the "rule of law" for the president of the United States. Law, even one proposed by the president, is now merely something he might agree to be bound by.